"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience...." (Galatians 5:22).
The man and woman who is blessed by God is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season. Even in old age they shall still bear fruit and flourish. And always in each season the one true characteristic of those who bear fruit is that they do so with patience.
Patience is Love enduring. This is the next step on the pathway to power in perilous times.
Because God's love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who is given unto us, we are flooded with love and abound with joy. Peace pervades and prevails in our every circumstance, and patience marks us as those who are held by something far more enduring than the fleeting moments of time.
And mark this one thing well -- the patience we speak of here is not passive. Rather it is the strength of character that holds steady in the face of trials, and endures with grace as it faces absurd provocations.
Paul said, "We pray that you'll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul -- not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us" (Colossians 1:11-12, The Message).
Love, joy, peace, patience -- we are getting closer; but there are yet a few more steps we need to take.
See you tomorrow.